Women are still highly underrepresented in STEM subjects and technology. The 2015 statistics published by the Joint Qualifications Council have shown that girls account for just 16 per cent of those sitting the computer science GCSE, but they were also shown to perform very well, with 72 per cent of them attaining grades A* - C. Encouraging more girls into computing and technology is not just a numbers game; there is clearly a huge pool of talent and enthusiasm to be discovered from all pupils.
As I approached the fourth year in which I had delivered a sustainability-based project for my secondary school students, there was one issue that troubled me; how could I make the project itself more sustainable? Why do I use so much paper in making my students more aware of the issue of sustainability? This year, the project was to research, design, and build, a sustainable home suitable for the Finnish Tundra. The students were all in Y8 (or Grade 7) and have the benefit of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy at our school.
Up and down the country, ICT teachers are nervously preparing themselves to make the transition from into teaching a subject which is known as ‘Computer Science’. What school leaders must realise when making this change is that Computer Science is a world apart from ICT. Teachers will need time to re-examine the pedagogy they use to ensure they deliver Computer Science lessons that are factually correct – and most importantly – craft classes that engage all learners in the room.
[Original published on 30th June 2015]
When I first started teaching ICT most people said that it is one the easiest subjects to teach because students like playing on the computer. This is totally not the case; there is a big difference between playing on a computer for leisure purposes compared to passing an exam or coursework. The boundaries and guidelines teachers and students need to go through is strenuous and cause lots of teachers to spoon feed students through the learning process.
The computing curriculum has been in place in schools across the UK for the best part of a year; enough time for both teachers and students to have adjusted to this new and challenging subject; in theory, at least. In reality however there is a huge discrepancy between the graphical ‘concept’ environments like Scratch, and the more complex text-based languages such as Python, both of which are used to teach students computing.
It’s an exciting time for those interested in the role digital technology can play in education. There's no shortage of inspiration; talented, creative and passionate entrepreneurs around the world are using a range of innovations to improve the lives of people and their communities, and it's those using digital technology to improve education and learning that really stand out.
Different kinds of learners require different methods of teaching. Here, Educare founder and director Keir McDonald discusses how teachers can use different e-learning programs to accommodate all pupils.
For years now, the topic of learning styles has dominated educational community forums. And while understanding the manner in which students best receive and retain information can be complex, the bottom line is that understanding how individual children learn can help educators reduce frustration and improve overall achievement.
Big Data promises so much more than merely enabling companies to sell us more ‘stuff’. Whilst there’s still a great deal of hype around utilising Big Data for personalised product placement, the opportunities of using data to help improve our lives are potentially boundless. The term Big Data is synonymous with Predictive Analytics, Data-driven Decision Making and even Artificial Intelligence, but it simply means “more data than you can process on a single machine.”
The BBC has launched a new project in order to boost digital skills amongst British secondary school students. The corporation will be giving away one million Micro Bit mini-computers as part of the Make It Digital campaign to all 11-year-old pupils starting secondary school in the autumn term. The initiative will also include a season of coding-based programmes and activities.
AOL UK yesterday announced a new competition to engage and inspire pupils and students with the art of coding. YouBuild will offer over 12,000 children, aged 8 - 16, across the UK the chance to come up with ideas on how to design a website that they think would boost their school and local community. The scheme in being run in partnership with international charity Free The Children and educational community Codecademy. Open now, the competition will run until May 3rd 2015.